Thursday, April 14, 2011

NAB Coverage 2011 - BIG Ideas from Small Companies

Let me first apologize for this blog not being updated sooner. Incompatibilities between Blogger and my iPad have had me in a losing battle to post new content. Anyways, NAB has continued to showcase new and inventive products for film and video professionals. This post will mainly focus on the new lesser known products from start-up and mom and pop companies. But I will first acknowledge the introduction of Apple's Final Cut Pro update. From what I have seen here in Vegas, the update is being met with mixed reactions, and many are worried the program is moving more towards consumers than professionals. Let me just say that tape is not dead, and removing tape capture is ridiculous. I admit it is less in use than 3 years ago but there are still many shooters using BETA, HDV, and even DVCAM. If Apple keeps up their recent consumer-grade trends, Adobe and Avid will surely step-in and reclaim their share of the market.

So like I said, big ideas from small companies. A genius little gem I found was from Dana Dolly. This product is a real solution for moving your camera regardless of production size and camera weight. I have seen many sliders and dollys this week from Kessler, Matthews, and Fischer, to name a few, but this one takes the cake at the right price. The Dana Dolly consists of a basic 12" x 12" platform on silent rubber trucks. It comes equipped with multiple tripod mounts for 75mm - 150mm as well as Mitchell. Instead of providing overpriced track, this system includes connecters for using standard Home Depot grade 1 1/4" pipe. What this means is that you end up with a system that can handle any camera from a Canon 5D to an Alexa, and it fits in a single small case for under $600. I played with this system for 15 minutes and was truly impressed.

Carbon XL was another company that caught my attention. They sell a 20' portable jib system that breaks down into a small tripod bag, all weighing less than 45 lbs. Selling for about $15,000, this jib is amazing. Every component is made of carbon fiber materials and is designed to nest one piece inside of another. This allows you to get a very large setup into the trunk of a smart car with minimal set up time. No, this system won't be a big camera solution, but the way cameras are heading, you could shoot with a DSLR, F3, or light Epic. Max payload is 20lbs.

One last product I want to touch on is a space efficient camera cart from Inovativ. This company manufactures camera or equipment carts similar to Magliners, but with the unique ability to break down into a very compact briefcase-sized package. There are three different size options depending on your needs, but all three are capable of carrying heavy loads, and can be equipped with Steadicam docks, tripod mounts, or DIT monitors. Regardless of your needs, Inovativ has you covered with an assortment of customizable carts.

It has been a great week in Vegas but all good things come to an end. When I get back to Maryland I'll get a few more pics online, so be sure to check back. And also take a few minutes to visit some of the great vendors I mentioned earlier.

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